Nuneaton’s loved and lost restaurants

Article by Mason Moore and Vaughan Moore

Nuneaton town centre has been home to many big brand restaurants and chains in the past.

Our Nuneaton and Hinckley Reporter, Mason Moore, has compiled a list of the most notable former restaurants to join the town centre with updates on what the spaces are now occupied by in 2020.

Hinckley Free Press would like to thank Nuneaton Memories and those who helped supply John Jevons photographs from his town centre photo collection archives.

Additional thanks to Vaughan Moore for his evidencing, proof and featured photo.

Pizza Hut

The Pizza Hut back in Abbey Street (Supplied by The John Jevons Collection to Nuneaton Memories for Hinckley Free Press)

Pizza Hut first set up shop in Abbey Street from the 1980s until March 2013.

In March 2013, bosses of the UK branch made the sad decision for Nuneaton’s dine-in restaurant to serve up their last few slices before leaving the town that month.

The American pizza giant have since joined the town of Nuneaton again in 2018 for a second time as a carry-out and delivery franchise, as opposed to a dine-in restaurant.

The closest dine-in restaurant to Nuneaton is in Coventry at the Arena Retail Park near the Ricoh Arena.

Currently, as it stands at the time of publication (30 March 2020), the former Pizza Hut space sits empty with a poster directing customers and potential landlords that the space is up for grabs with a short term letting.

However, next door in the former Poundland space, there is a dine-in dessert franchise named Kaspa’s Desserts that opened back in 28 August 2018.


Wimpy’s visual identity (Wimpy)

Wimpy went down a treat with many residents of the town centre back in the day.

Wimpy was the first American fast-food restaurant of its kind to step foot into Nuneaton in the 1960s.

Wimpy were the first to serve residents their first taste of an authentic American-style burger. Their ice creams proved to be a success among customers.

Their Nuneaton chain was operated by Wimpy franchisee Derek Gorman who also operated three Wimpy franchises in Coventry with locations on Fairfax Street, Ironmonger Row and Trinity Street.

The space that used to house Wimpy’s fast-food restaurant in more recent years has since changed ownership in the modern day.

The ownership has not been any big brand, but instead an independent chicken shop originally named Benny’s before becoming Dixy Chicken and finally Mojo’s Peri Peri.

The space still sits occupant at the time of this publication.

Starbucks Coffee

An interior shot of the more recent Starbucks branch in Bermuda Park (Vaughan Moore for Hinckley Free Press)

In 2018, American coffee giant Starbucks made headlines locally that they were snapping up a space in Bermuda Park with a drive-thru.

However, this is not the first time that Starbucks have tried their hand at serving cups of coffee to residents of the town.

Starbucks first opened in Market Place in Nuneaton town centre next door to Marks and Spencers and Boots.

Interestingly, the development of the newly-built Ropewalk complex back in 2005 seen the team at Ropewalk score a deal where Starbucks would have a short-term lease next door to Marks and Spencer.

Starbucks Coffee opened officially back in June 2007 before closing their doors just three years later in 19 October 2009.

Even though Starbucks have sadly moved over to Bermuda Park, visitors and residents of the town can still grab a hot drink and bite to eat from the independently-owned café and bar named The Time Café and Bar which sits in the former coffee house.

Baker’s Oven

Baker’s Oven was a British bakery chain owned by Allied Bakeries back in 1976. In 1994, the chain was bought out by their competitor, Greggs.

In 1999, the Bakery chain joined the town centre and moved into the space next door to WHSmith that used to be Moores The Bakers back in 1981.

From 2008, Baker’s Oven finally decided to rebrand their stores and start trading as a Greggs, years after they were purchased by them back in 1999.

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